The DIY Website

despair-513529_640Technology is wonderful. It makes things easier for us, right? Well, that is what we would all like to believe and what innovators in technology try to make us believe on a daily basis. This is especially true when it comes to website design and development. There are magical solutions that lets you design your own website at pennies on the dollar within a matter of minutes. And many people are flocking to these solutions by the hundreds, if not thousands.

Some of these sites even claim to have millions of users world-wide. If only they would disclose how many of those are still actively using their services. But that is an entirely different story. The focus today is on carefully disclosing the truth about these DIY website design service providers and their applications.

It Is Affordable

This is probably the only value a customer will gain. Then again, how can saving money be of value when everything else will still cost you? The marketing is very effective in hiding what you may not be aware of. And by the time you discover the truth, it is too late: you have paid your setup and/or subscription, designed the website, published your domain everywhere, and received a host of “so-called” freebies like vouchers for additional marketing. But they did not tell you that it will be up to you to take care of all that extra marketing. So much for savings.

Proprietary

Perhaps this is the single most important secret they keep from you. Most of these “value” solutions employ proprietary programs. What does this mean? You cannot take your website anywhere. You are obligated to stay with them… forever. Furthermore, they never disclose the true limitations they have. Sure, they have hundreds¬†of templates and you can design it anyway you want, as long as it is within their specific parameters. Reminds me of Henry Ford’s comment when he introduced the Ford Model-T,¬†“You can have it in any color you’d like, as long as it is black.”

Costly

No, you are not seeing a typo. And yes, you are seeing a contradiction here. I did mention that these DIY services are affordable. But once you get a basic education on what it really takes to create your own effective website, you soon discover that there are hidden costs involved.

Traditional website designing/development agencies run a completely different operation. They have years of experience and highly qualified staffs that manage a multitude of functions, all of which are required to professionally and effectively develop your website. The rates are higher than a DIY solution. But you will also find, in most cases, that the money you thought you would save with he DIY will later be spent in updating the website, developing functional SEO, marketing, etc. You suddenly realize that the bargain was not a bargain after all.

Exceptions

Are there exceptions to this rule? Sure, there are. As with anything in life, exceptions are all around us. If your website need is a simple online presence, a personal project or other form of just being online and you are not relying on your website to earn any form of income, then sure, go to town with those DIY services. But if you are looking for an effective online solution to help you start or grow a business, you may be biting more than you can chew.

We cannot all be experts in everything. If you own a retail establishment and need a website with eCommerce capabilities the last thing you really want to do is become a website designer or developer to manage your business’ website. You have better things to do, like make sales and earn an income. Leave the website designing and development to experts such as UX and UI designers, developers, quality assurance specialists, and project managers who specialize in this kind of work. They are not in retail, so they do not expect you to be a website designer.

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